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This is the process to appeal against a civil decision by a judge in the General Division of the High Court.

If you wish to appeal a decision by another court officer, you may refer to:

If you are unsure who made the decision, contact the court to check.

Who can appeal

You should be a party in a civil case, such as the:

  • Party who filed an application: plaintiff or applicant.
  • Party against whom an application is filed: defendant or respondent
  • Third party.

What you can appeal against

You may file an appeal against a judgment, order or decision made by a judge in the General Division of the High Court if you are not satisfied with it and wish to reverse or vary it.

Refer to the Fourth Schedule of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act for the full list of cases that cannot be appealed.

Some common examples include cases where:

  • The judgment or order is made by consent of the parties.
  • A judge makes an order giving or refusing further and better particulars.
  • A judge makes an order giving leave to amend a pleading (except for certain exceptions set out in the Fourth Schedule of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act).
  • A judge makes an order refusing security for costs.
  • A judge makes an order giving or refusing interrogatories.

Which court will hear your appeal

Civil appeals against decisions of the General Division of the High Court are allocated between the Court of Appeal and the Appellate Division of the High Court in accordance with the Supreme Court of Judicature Act.

  • The Court of Appeal hears prescribed categories of civil appeals which are set out in the Sixth Schedule to the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, as well as appeals that are to be made to the Court of Appeal under written law.
  • The Appellate Division of the High Court hears civil appeals against any decision made by the General Division that are not allocated to the Court of Appeal, as well as appeals that are to be made to the Appellate Division under any written law.

Before you appeal: check if leave to appeal is needed

You need to apply for the appellate court's leave (permission) to appeal if any of the following applies to your case:

Refer to Section 29A and the Fifth Schedule of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act for the full list of cases that require leave to appeal.

Some common examples include cases where:

  • A judge makes an order giving unconditional leave to defend any proceedings.
  • The only issue in the appeal relates to costs or fees for hearing dates.
  • A judge makes an order giving security for costs.
  • A judge makes an order giving or refusing discovery or inspection of documents.
  • A judge makes an order refusing a stay of proceedings.
  • Any written law that is in force declares that a court's leave must be obtained to file an appeal against the decision.

Key facts

Refer to the following on how to apply for leave to appeal:

When to file

(If further arguments under Section 29B of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act do not apply) Within 7 working days after the judgment, order or decision.

(If further arguments under Section 29B of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act apply) Within 7 working days after one of the following, whichever is earlier:

  • The judge who made the decision affirms, varies or sets aside the decision after hearing further arguments.
  • The judge who made the decision certifies (or is deemed to have certified) that no further arguments are required.
  • The date of extraction of the judgment or order relating to the decision.
  • The 15th day after the date on which the decision is made.

Estimated fees

Refer to this list.

How to file

Through eLitigation.

Estimated fees

The estimated fees include:

Item or service

Fee

File the Originating Summons

  • If your case is up to $1 million: $500
  • If your case is more than $1 million: $1,000

File the written submissions and bundle of documents

No filing fees

Note: This table does not include additional fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

How to file

You may choose to file personally or through a lawyer. If you are represented by a lawyer, the documents will be filed by your lawyer.

If you are representing yourself, follow these steps to apply for leave to appeal from the Appellate Division of the High Court or the Court of Appeal.

1. File the documents via eLitigation

Visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau at the Supreme Court to file the following documents via eLitigation:

Note: No affidavit is to be filed without the leave of the appellate court.

If the court accepts your application documents, the Service Bureau will inform you to return to collect the endorsed Originating Summons issued by the court.

2. Serve the documents on the respondent

You must serve the Originating Summons on the other party (the respondent) through personal service. This means delivering a hard copy to the other party in-person. The written submissions and bundle of documents must also be served but they need not be served through personal service.

After you file

The Appellate Division of the High Court or the Court of Appeal will inform you if there will be a hearing to decide whether to grant you leave to appeal.

If there is an oral hearing

The court will inform you of the location, date and time through a notice. Both you and the other party in the case must attend.

If there is no oral hearing

The court will inform you of the outcome of the application in writing.

Outcomes of the application

What happens next depends on the decision of the Appellate Division of the High Court or the Court of Appeal:

If the Appellate Division of the High Court or the Court of Appeal grants you leave

You can file a Notice of Appeal within 1 month of the date on which leave was given.

If the Appellate Division of the High Court or the Court of Appeal does not grant you leave

That is the end of the matter. You cannot proceed with the appeal.

You should refer to the following table which sets out some of the common issues relating to applications for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal and the Appellate Division of the High Court which applicants should take note of.

This is only meant as a guide and should be read subject to all the relevant provisions in the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, the Rules of Court and the Supreme Court Practice Directions.

Issue 

Points to note

Application for leave to appeal is made to the wrong court 

You should refer to Section 29A of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act which provides when leave is required to appeal against a decision of the General Division in the exercise of its original or appellate civil jurisdiction. 

Generally, where leave to appeal is required, the application (via an originating summons) should be made directly to the Court of Appeal or the Appellate Division. Save for a case where any written law specifies the court from which leave must be obtained, please refer to Paragraph 1 of the Fifth Schedule to the Supreme Court of Judicature Act to determine which is the correct appellate court to hear the application. 

The application should not be filed in the General Division via a summons. 

Application for leave to appeal against a decision of the General Division is filed before time begins to run (premature filings)

As a starting point, you should consider whether Section 29B of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act applies to the decision of the General Division. 

Section 29B of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act provides that a Judge may hear further arguments in respect of a decision made by the Judge in the exercise of the original or appellate civil jurisdiction of the General Division after any hearing other than a trial of an action, if certain conditions are met.

If the decision you wish to appeal against falls under Section 29B of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, the timelines for filing the application for leave to appeal do not run immediately from the date of the decision. This is to ensure that there is finality in the decision being appealed against, before the application for leave to appeal is considered.

Instead, the application should be made within 7 days after one of the following events (refer to Order 56A Rule 3(2) and Order 57 Rule 2A(2) of the Rules of Court):

  • In cases where the Judge hears further arguments in respect of the decision, the application should be made within 7 days after the date the Judge affirms, varies or sets aside the decision after hearing further arguments.
  • In cases where a request for further arguments was made, but the Judge certifies or is deemed to have certified that no further arguments are required, the application should be made within 7 days after the date the Judge certifies or is deemed to have certified that no further arguments are required.
  • In any other case, the application should be made within 7 days after either: (i) the time on which the judgment or order was extracted; or (ii) the 15th day after the date on which the decision was made, whichever is earlier.

In cases of premature filings, parties will be informed that the timelines for the application will be held in abeyance pending the expiry of the time limited for a party to request further arguments.

Documentation and filing errors 

To avoid common errors, you should note the following: 

  • As an applicant, you must put up security for costs and/or furnish the requisite certificate of security for costs, as required under Order 56A Rule 17(6) and Order 57 Rule 16(5) of the Rules of Court.
  • Affidavits cannot be filed for an application for leave to appeal without the leave of court.
  • As an applicant, you should file the application, the written submissions, a bundle of documents (if any) and a bundle of authorities (if any) at the same time.
  • If you are the party opposing the application, you should file written submissions, a bundle of documents (if any) and a bundle of authorities (if any) at the same time within 7 days after the applicant has served the papers.
  • You should also take note of the prescribed page limits for the written submissions and bundle of documents which are set out in the Rules of Court and Supreme Court Practice Directions.
Written submissions do not comply with the requirements in the Supreme Court Practice Directions

When preparing the written submissions, you should use the correct form prescribed by Paragraph 90B(1) of the Supreme Court Practice Directions (Form 31A/ Form 31B) and make sure the written submissions comply with the requirements set out in Paragraph 90B(3) of the Supreme Court Practice Directions

You should also note that:

  • Written submissions should not exceed 12 pages, excluding the cover page and backing page.
  • Written submissions should include a party’s submissions on costs. A party should state the appropriate costs order and the quantum (including disbursements) which should be awarded and the reasons for it.

Appeal against a decision by the General Division of the High Court

Key facts

Refer to the following on how to appeal against a decision by a judge in the General Division of the High Court.

Who can file

A party in a civil case in the General Division of the High Court.

What can be appealed

A court judgment, order or decision by a judge in the General Division of the High Court.

When to file

Within 1 month of the date of:

  • (If leave is not needed) The judgment, order or decision
  • (If leave is needed) The decision granting leave to appeal

Estimated fees

Refer to this list.

Who will hear the appeal

Judges in the Court of Appeal or the Appellate Division of the High Court.

How to file

Through eLitigation.

If you file the appeal, you are the appellant. The other party is the respondent.

Estimated fees

The estimated fees include:

Item or service

Fee

Security for costs

$20,000

(Exception: for interlocutory orders) $15,000

File the Notice of Appeal
  • If your case is up to $1 million: $1,000
  • If your case is more than $1 million: $2,000

File the Appellant's Case

$3,000

File the core bundle

(For every page in excess of 150 pages) $10 per page

Note: This table does not include additional fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

How to file

You may choose to file personally or through a lawyer. If you are represented by a lawyer, the documents will be filed by your lawyer.

Follow these steps to file an appeal:

The security for costs serves as a deposit for the respondent’s costs of appeal. The amount depends on whether you are appealing against an interlocutory order:

Appeals against interlocutory orders

$15,000

All other appeals

$20,000

You may provide the amount for the security for costs in one of the following ways:

  • Deposit it with the Supreme Court Legal Registry.
  • Deposit it with the Accountant-General's Department.
  • Via an undertaking by your lawyer.

How to deposit with the Supreme Court Legal Registry

Visit the Supreme Court Legal Registry (at Level 2 of the Supreme Court) to deposit the security for costs in cash or cashier’s order. After payment, you will receive a receipt. You will need to provide this receipt when filing your appeal.

How to deposit with the Accountant-General

File a Direction to Accountant-General for Payment In via eLitigation. If you are representing yourself, visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau to file.

After the court accepts your document, you will receive an endorsed Direction to Accountant-General for Payment In. Bring a hard copy of the endorsed document to the Accountant-General’s Department (AGD). The AGD will advise you on the steps to submit the security for costs. After payment, you will receive a receipt. You will need to submit this receipt when filing the appeal.

When: within 1 month of the court decision

If you are representing yourself, visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau at the Supreme Court to file the following documents via eLitigation:

You will need to pay the filing fees.

The deadline for filing depends on whether you applied for leave to appeal:

If you applied for leave to appeal

1 month from the date the leave was given.

If you did not need to apply for leave to appeal

1 month from the date of the court decision you are appealing against.

 

If the court accepts your application, the Service Bureau will inform you to return to collect the Notice of Appeal issued by the court.

When: after filing the Notice of Appeal

You must serve the Notice of Appeal issued by the court on the other party (the respondent). This means giving them a copy of the document in any of the following ways (according to Order 62, Rule 6 of the Rules of Court):

  • By leaving the document at the address of the person to be served.
  • By post.
  • By fax, under circumstances set out in Order 62, Rule 6(3) of the Rules of Court.
  • In any manner as may be agreed between the parties.
  • In any manner as the court may direct.
When: when notified by the court

You will receive a notice to collect the record of proceedings at the Supreme Court.

The record of proceedings include:

  • The grounds of decision: The court’s reasons for its decision.
  • A copy of the certified transcript of the official record of hearing.
Tip
You should read these documents carefully and consider if you wish to continue with the appeal. You may wish to seek legal advice on the merits of your case.

After you file

The court will arrange for a hearing and inform you and the respondent of the location, date and time. Both you and the respondent must attend.

Tip: If you are unable to attend, you must request to change the hearing date, subject to the court's approval.

Before the hearing: file and serve the record of appeal and other documents

To proceed with the appeal, you should file and serve all of the following documents:

Refer to each form for the required information, as well as the Supreme Court Practice Directions and Rules of Court for the guidelines and requirements.

When to file and serve

The deadline for filing and serving depends on whether the appeal is to be heard by a 2 judge court:

  • If the appeal is to be heard by a 2 judge court: within 1 month of the notice to collect the record of proceedings.
  • If the appeal will not be heard by a 2 judge court: within 2 months of the notice to collect the record of proceedings.

How to file

File the documents via eLitigation. If you are representing yourself, visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau to file.

How to serve

You must serve the Appellant's Case, record of appeal, core bundle and Appeals Information Sheet on the respondent. This means giving the respondent a copy of the documents in any of the following ways (according to Order 62, Rule 6 of the Rules of Court):

  • By leaving the document at the address of the person to be served.
  • By post.
  • By fax, under circumstances set out in Order 62, Rule 6(3) of the Rules of Court.
  • In any manner as may be agreed between the parties.
  • In any manner as the court may direct.

At your appeal hearing

The Court of Appeal or the Appellate Division of the High Court will decide whether to allow or dismiss your appeal.

This is the general process during an appeal hearing:

  • The court will ask you (the appellant) to present your arguments for appeal.
  • The court will hear from the respondent, who may respond to your arguments and present their case.
  • The court may then ask you to reply to the respondent.

The court may issue a decision on the day of the hearing or choose to reserve judgment. If the court chooses to reserve judgment, you will receive further directions on what happens next.

Outcomes of appeal

There are 2 possible outcomes:

If your appeal is allowed

You get some or all of the changes you asked for, either in full or in part. The court may vary or overrule the original court’s decision, or make a new order.

If your appeal is dismissed

There are no changes to the original court's decision.

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

Find out more

Resources

Legislation associated with this topic includes:

Related questions

At any time before the appeal is called for a hearing, you may file and serve on the parties to the appeal a notice that you do not intend to proceed with the appeal.

If all the parties consent to the withdrawal of the appeal, you must file a document signifying such consent through eLitigation. This document must be signed by the parties or their lawyers. After you file that document, the court will deem the appeal withdrawn.

If all the parties do not consent to the intended withdrawal of the appeal, you may apply in writing to the appellate court for directions on any outstanding issues between the parties (such as costs) and for an order as to the disposal of the security for costs for the appeal. Upon receiving the application in writing, the court may remove the appeal from the list of appeals and give directions on the making of written submissions for the application.

Generally, filing fees are not refundable if the appeal is withdrawn.

If the appeal is withdrawn by consent, the security will be paid out pursuant to the terms of agreement between the parties.

If the appeal is withdrawn without the respondent’s consent, parties may apply in writing to the appellate court for an order as to the disposal of the security for costs.

If costs have been awarded in your favour, you may request the deposit to be returned to you.

If costs have been awarded against you, the deposit will go towards the amount of costs that have been awarded against you.

You will receive a Notice of Appeal from the party who filed the appeal. After that, you will receive the Appellant’s Case, record of appeal, core bundle and Appellant’s Appeals Information Sheet.

You will need to file the Respondent's Case to the court via eLitigation within 1 month of the service of the Appellant's Case.

The Respondent's Case is a document that states all of the following points:

  • Circumstances out of which the appeal arises.
  • Issues arising in the appeal.
  • Your contentions (arguments) for the appeal and the authorities (relevant case laws, statutes, subsidiary legislation and other materials) that support your arguments.
  • Reasons against the appeal.

If you are not represented by a lawyer, visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau to file the Respondent's Case. The estimated fee is $1,000. (This does not include additional fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.)

You need to serve the documents on the appellant. This means giving them a copy of the documents in any of the following ways (according to Order 62, Rule 6 of the Rules of Court):

  • By leaving the document at the address of the person to be served.
  • By post.
  • By fax, under circumstances set out in Order 62, Rule 6(3) of the Rules of Court.
  • In any manner as may be agreed between the parties.
  • In any manner as the court may direct.

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